COVID-19, Immunity, and a Mother’s Heart
by Kandace Zollman
Four weeks ago, my son Nathan tested positive for COVID-19. As much as I’ve prayed, consoled, faithfully worn a mask, and stayed informed about current COVID information, I have to tell you that the reality of this virus didn’t hit home for me until it attacked someone I love.
Immediately, I began asking Jesus to preserve the life of my boy and to draw the young man closer to Him in this time when I knew he was feeling afraid. My son is thirty years old and long past needing his momma’s care, yet finding myself over nine hours away and limited by travel restrictions was a frustratingly helpless feeling! I don’t know what I could have done if I had somehow been able to reach his bedside, but not having the option to be there made this momma’s heart yearn even more to be able to do “something.”
I thought a lot about “something,” and I realized that the only tool that Nathan had with which to fight was his immune system. As you probably know, there are precious few drugs that make a difference. It seems that many people experience the virus in different ways. Nathan experienced massive headaches brought on by the virus. He tried to address these headaches with Ibuprofen, but it didn’t have any effect whatsoever.
With a son who was very sick, I decided that I needed to learn as much as I could about COVID-19 and the immune response. To get informed, I did what any 21st century mother would do: I “Googled” it.
The Internet, as always, provides nearly unlimited amounts of information, but I was looking for a credible source (something which isn’t “unlimited” on the internet). Thankfully, an article published by the Harvard Medical School caught my eye. The writer stated, “Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle.” As I read what they advocated as a healthy lifestyle, the information somehow sounded familiar to me. The suggestions from the Harvard experts were quite similar to what was written over a hundred years ago by a little old lady by the name of Ellen White.
Recognizing the similarities, I grabbed my old beat-up copy of The Ministry of Healing from the shelf and began to flip through the highlighted pages. As I did so, I was gently reminded of what God shared through His prophet over a century ago. She wrote: “Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 127).
As an Adventist, I’ve often heard these choices marketed by the acronym “NEWSTART.” You may be familiar with this or several other programs we’ve used to promote a healthy lifestyle (which is a good thing). Regardless of which program we prefer, I've noticed that we seem to gravitate toward the “remedies” we like while ignoring the ones that are inconvenient or step on our toes.
As I contemplated the two lists before me, I wondered if I had ignored or somehow de-emphasized the truth because I wanted a more “respected, credible, or modern” source? The words from God's prophet once again reminded me that no matter how aged it may be, the truth is, well, truth.
Mrs. White continued, “It is far better to prevent disease than to know how to treat it when contracted. It is the duty of every person, for his own sake, and for the sake of humanity, to inform himself in regard to the laws of life and conscientiously to obey them” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 128).
In a decaying world full of evil and human weakness, there aren't any guarantees that even the most conscientious among us will be able to avoid COVID-19. We've known for decades how to strengthen our bodies for this battle. Perhaps before 2020 is over, it is the time for each of us to take this divinely inspired counsel to heart.
Nathan was much too sick to feel like talking on the phone, but I did send him a good share of reminder texts:
“Good morning! How are you feeling? Don’t forget to drink tons of water!”
“How did you sleep? Make sure that you get a lot of rest! Don’t overdo it!”
“My friend said she would go to the store for you. What kinds of fruit sound good?”
No matter the distance, a mother is always a mother. No matter the years, truth is always truth.
For those wondering, Nathan recovered and is doing great now. With God’s care and many momma prayers, he is healthy again!
Kandace Zollman currently serves as Pastor for Nurture and Visitation at Spencerville Adventist Church in Maryland.
World Church Prayer Requests
December 11 - 17, 2020
• Pray for clarity and direction for our church leaders as they seek to shepherd the flock in these tumultuous times. Pray for peace for those who are struggling with anxiety!
• Pray that we will each individually seek deeper consecration and a revival of genuine godliness so that the Holy Spirit can be poured out.
• Pray for this week’s Adventist Mission unreached people group, the 35 million Sunda in Indonesia. Will you claim the following verse with us for these precious people who don't know Jesus? "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." (Jeremiah 33:3)